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the assad regime in syria, allowing the over flights by iran. now, if so, that raises serious questions about u.s./iraqi relations going forward. secretary kerry met with iraqi prime minister malkey in his unannounced stroz baghdad today. and those iranian flights were at the top of the agend a. the secretary and the prime minister had a private meeting that kerry described as a spirited discussion. when it was over, the secretary told reporters, quote, anything that supportings president assad is problematic. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to discontinue president osaud and his regime. thez believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to help arm the syrian government, although it rawn insists it is humanitarian aid. the u.s. has asked iraq to force the planes to land in iraq for inspections. but only a few have been checked. they have long been a point of conflict between the and u.s. iraq. >> the intent here, fwy going public, is to increase the pressure on al-malma laki. but it shows how minimal ou
could get a lot worse. all of various groups fighting assad of syria. they want assad to go. they also potentially bring that violence across the border from syria into lebanon and most particularly into jordan. i think obama was trying to have a better relationship with king abdullah of jordan. unlike other parts of arab spring where they are willing to let kings fall but with abdullah he has to support him and give him the kind of assistance he needs especially to deal with the refugees. problem with refugees they rarely come alone. there will be fighters that want to bring the fight to jordan. >> arthel: that makes it so complicated. i was in istanbul, turkey and i was talking to a guy from syria. he was saying that want president obama to arm the rebels, opposition forces. britain and france are on board with the notion but how do you think president obama will move forward with respect to syria? of course, there is chemical weapons factor. >> we have green and white and now i think what he has done he put the red line. chemical weapons we're not going to let that happen. >> arthel
in syria. u.s. and israeli intelligence say the assad regime is poised to use chemical weapons. >> once you let that situation spin out of control, it's very hard to -- to stop, and can have enormous spillover effects across the region. >> reporter: the cia is already training selected rebel groups to guard against a takeover by more radical elements once assad falls. the regime's weakness was demonstrated again thursday, by a suicide bombing at a damascus mosque. killing a prominent assad supporter. today, activists said rebels seized a key air base in the south, along the jordanian border where rebel forces, including some islamic militants, are almost face-to-face with israeli border troops. president assad struggling to refute reports that he is afraid to come out of hiding emerged briefly this week for an elaborately staged government photo-op. even posing with his wife. all this as pressure mounts for the u.s. to get involved militarily to stop the slaughter. >> i think we'll end up providing lethal assistance. and i wouldn't be surprised at some point -- first of all, it's a red line
has resigned. the founder of the rebel-free syrian army, the main group challenging the assad regime seriously injured in a car bombing. a number of developments here as we welcome you to whole new week here on "america's newsroom.". i'm bill hemmer. martha has time for the family. >> i'm heather childers, nice to be here again. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east. he is urging iraq to stop letting iran use its airspace to shuttle weapons and soldiers to the syrian government >> for those of us engaged in the effort to see president assad step down and a see a democratic process take hold with a transitional government government according to the geneva communique, for those of us engaged in that effort, anything that supports president assad is problematic. bill: so iran claims the flights contain humanitarian supplies. conor powell in the middle east bureau in jerusalem. first of all who is behind the car bomb, the car bomb hit on the rebel commander? >> reporter: so often is the case, bill, really tough to get accurate information coming out of syria. but it is not
to publicly call on assad to step down because of the horrific violence being inflicted on the syrian people. jordan has played a leading role in trying to begin a political transition toward a new government. we're working together to strengthen a credible syrian opposition. we share jordan's concerns about violence spilling across the borders. so i want to take this opportunity to make it clear the united states is committed to the security of jordan, which is backed by our strong alliance. as has been mentioned during this crisis the jordanian people have displayed extraordinary generosity, but the strains of so many refugees inevitably is showing. every day -- to neighbors far from home, but this is a heavy burden. and the international community needs to step up to make sure that they are helping to shoulder this burden. the united states will certainly do our part. we are already the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the syrian people. some of this has helped people here in jordan. and today i'm announcing that my administration will work with congress to provide jorda
damascus. also worth noting we have not seep assad, the president, for quite a queue days. there -- a few days there was a video allegedly showing him meeting some of the syrian people. we can't confirm when that video was shot but its worth noting, he, too, appears to be laying low for whatever reason right now. >> shepard: let's bring in michael ohandlan. specialeess in defense and foreign policy. >> hi. >> shepard: where are we now in this conflict? >> i think you and jonathan have been summarizing it well. you can say the insurgents have some momentum but everytime you feel like you make that case they suffer a setback or we're remind of their fractious nature, and the regime is still get can weapons from iran and i'm not seeing we're seeing a shift in. i it's a stalemate with successes on either side. the insurgents are doing a little better but not persuasive they'll take the country or drive assad from power. i hope sew but have not seen enough evidence. this could be a settling into a long situation in which the government holds some neighborhoods, the insurgents hold others and i
with benjamin netanyahu. following a would closed-door meeting between those two leaders. as the assad regime and syrian rebels accuse each other of launching deadly chemical and launching a deadly chemical attack just hours before the president's arrival. the white house at this point says it cannot con official those claims. this trip to israel is the first for the president. this is a four-day middle east trip. he was greeted by netanyahu and israeli president perez. before leaving the a airport, president obama was shown the israeli air force system which the u.s. helped pay for. he met with president perez and took part in a ceremonial tree planting. >> there is a common vision uniting us. to confirm dangers. to bring closure as soon as possible. >> i reaffirm president perez, as i will throughout my visit, that in this work, the state of israel will have no greater friend than the united states. right now as president meets with prime minister netanyahu, major issues, like syria, iran's nuclear program, stalled peace talks. ish a us taking center stage and joining me live now from jerus
, a she'ite muslim is helping to support the assad regime in syria. now, secretary kerry met with iraqi president nouri al-maliki during a visit in baghdad today. those iranian flights were at the top of the agenda. they had what kerry described as a spirited discussion. here is the secretary. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and you i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad and his regime. >> reporter: the u.s. believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to arm the syrian government but tehran says they are delivering only humanitarian aid there. they wanted to force the planes for inspections but only a few have been checked. >> i think the intent here by going public is to increase the pressure on al-maliki but the whole incident how minimal influence is on the regime in iraq and how minimal our ability to affect the conflict in syria has become. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the flights are taking place just about every day. kerry says the u.s. congress is
in syria that brought a signal warning from the president to president assad's discredited regime. >> we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people would be a serious and tragic mistake. the assad regime must understand that they will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists. >> and the president said his administration is fully investigating those claims of chemical weapons used in syria. nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engle join us. the first question out of the gate was a robust one, asking the president about the slaughter of innocence in syria and the alleged use of chemical weapons there. the president said pointedly that use of chemical weapons would be a game changer and that assad and his regime would be held accountable. but this is an incredibly tough case for the president, isn't it? >> reporter: i don't think the president wants to get involved in syria. i think the bar is very high. i think the president worries that if he starts getting involved in syria and becomes known as protector
bashar assad eventually leaves there is a risk extremists will take over. >> they thrive in failed states. they thrive in power vacuums. they don't have much to offer when it comes to actually building things but they are very good about exploiting situations that, you know, are no longer functioning. >> shepard: and no matter how this unfolds, the president says the outcome in syria is not going to be ideal our chief white house correspondent traveling with live in amman jordan. the president is getting more pressure to use military in syria. >> he he is the president wept out and vowed that he would rid asyria of all the extremist still left there a sign that he is ready to kill more people. is he digging in even deeper president obama is getting pressure no-fly zone. come up with surgical air strikes. something to stop the killing. but the president today said at a news conference you have to be very careful with u.s. power. >> what your question may be suggesting is why haven't we simply gone in militarily. and, you know, i think it's fair to say that the united states often finds its
with the civil war in syria. how? the secretary says that iraq has been helping prop up assad as he fights for power there. kerry making an unannounced visitor to iraq and meeting with nuri al-maliki. and stopping the flow of weapons into neighboring syria. weapons that are only making the civil war more deadly. and steve centanni is here. how are they flowing into syria? >> reporter: according to u.s. officials there are flights just about every day, from iran to syria travelling across the iraqi air space. iran says they carry humanitarian aid, but u.s. says they carry weapons to the syrian government. and secretary of state john kerry urged al-maliki to crack down on the flights requiring they land in iraq for inspection before continuing on to syria. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights and i made it very clear, anything that supports president assad is problematic. >> kerry suggested the future of u.s.-iraqi relations is hanging in the balance here, harris. >> harris: given the recent talks and the possibility of chemical weapons used on citizens and
for joining us. >> yeah, thank you. sandra: the cia backed an arms lift to rebels hoping to wipe out the assad regime once and for all, but new aid could create more problems than it solves. details on that next. plus, florida gulf coast making a cinderella run for the ages. how can it turn its name into a big brand in college sports? piles of "money" coming up. ♪ ♪ sandra: the markets are closed, but there are always ways to be making money. keep an eye on boeing and the 787 dreamliner. they are conducting a two hour check flight of the dreamliner. all appears to be going well so far. later this week, it will conduct another flight test on proposed fixes to the plane's lithium ion batteries, the biggest problem, and a clean bill of health could bode well for the stock. by the way, even with the dreamliners trouble, stock up 12%, out doing the s&p 500 this year, by the way. the central intelligence agency is financing and backing a major arms air lift to the syria rebels. according to a new report, it's a big escalation in u.s. aid to take down the assad regime. is it enough to end it once
simply aren't going to improve the situation. the colonel assad is reportedly in stable condition in turkey after an assassination attempt. he was one of the original founders of the free syrian army but has been somewhat marge alized in recent months. colonel assad has never been able to unite the many different groups fighting the syrian regime of the the attack on his life happened while he was touring a rebel area. there is the possibility that there is internal rebel politics at play though syrian rebels blame syria and the assad government for the attack. in another blow to the opposition, the leading opposition figure, katabi offered his resignation yesterday but it was rejected by rebel leaders. on facebook he said he was resigning due to restrictions on his work. the overall inner workings of the syrian opposition is really, really complicated. as actual fighters fighting in syria simply don't report to the syrian leadership and jenna, this really does remain a fragmented syrian opposition and two years into the civil war, it hasn't really improve many in the internationa
bomber blew up a damascus mosque killing 42 people including a prominent sheikh who supports the assad regime. opposition leaders denied all responsibility. this is just another sign of vulnerability in a regime that has thousands of chemical weapons. today president obama warned assad and his forces that the world is watching. the president said they will be held accountable if they use chemical weapons or let them fall into the hands of terrorists. but in secret testimony this week, congressional committees were told some of these deadly weapons are, in effect, locked and loaded. and that the regime plans to use them. israeli intelligence agrees, i'm told, and believe the trigger could well be if aleppo, syria's largest city, falls to the rebels. if that were to happen, the president and netanyahu have military plans in place to stop the weapons from getting into the hands of terrorists. and of course, brian, the other big concern for the u.s. and israel is iran. just today iran's supreme leader threatened to level israeli cities if israel sights the nuclear program. lots to worry ab
is worried what will happen in the country of the deadly assad regime is out. president obama's comments came of the president assad pledged to wipe out forces of darkness from his country, following the reports of a suicide has' last night at a damascus mosque, including a cleric who supported the syrian regime. this is the first time in thesive war that a suicide bomber has struck inside a house of worship, and the sunni cleric who was injured -- or killed, reportedly the most senior religious figure killed in the entirety of the conflict. president assad vowed revenge. we will destroy their extremism until we have cleansed the country. little doubt the syrian leader is referring to the rebel fighters. the opposition denying anything to do with the attack. ed henry is with the president. >>> ed, president obama is under a lot of pressure to take some military action in syria. >> that's right, including from some fellow democrats, who like carl levin, if not boots on the ground, at least a no-fly zone. senator levin and joining senator john mccain there could be surgical astrikes. the presid
's thinking on what to do about syria, how the united states can help move to the post-assad period. >> let me ask you quickly about this speech, because it's coming up in about 40 minutes. obviously, the relationship, if you look at the polls between the president and the israeli people, has been strained as well. here's what a university professor wrote in "the daily beast" this morning. mr. obama will be talking to young people who are neither listless cynics nor disaffected sofa-plit koes. many of them have marched in demonstrations and took active part in protest rallies. our record of effective activism is by comparison to every other recent social movement, stellar. is this an important speech for him there? if so, what should his message be? >> well, it is an important speech. he has about a 10% approval rating in israel. that will undoubtedly tick up. but this is part of the president's style. you remember in 2009 he spoke at cairo university. he's made a choice here. he's not going to speak government to government. he's going to move beyond that dialogue to talk directly to the isra
bear. this video we just showed from the assad regime, shown on syrian state television. want to show it again. it's supposedly a victim suffering from a chemical weapons attack. no one shows any physical signs of injury, no con vumgss, no vomiting. three experts say that judging from what they see here, this doesn't seem like a chemical weapons attack. knowing what you know about these type of agents and their effect on humans, do you agree? >> you know, it's difficult to tell without examining the patients. and you need sophisticated equipment to do that. a lot of the symptoms you're seeing in these patients could be caused by insecticide, for instance. any organo phosphate which saron is, but the fact that so few people have died or if any have died tells me that this probably wasn't a sar ron attack but we can't rule out some sort of diluted vehicle. >> the regime is saying it's the rebels using chemicals. if it was something like a diluted chemical, dispersal agent or something, would that be crossing the red line? >> are sure. look, it may be. what we know about syria's chemical
.s. is training fighters to join the battle against president bashar assad owho has been slaughtering his own people for more than two years now. the program has been going on in jordan for at least 8 months. the trainees do not include members of free syrian army which has meanwhile the u.s. reports it's pulling half of its foreign staffers out of syria after a mortar attack damaged their hotel and a vehicle in damascus. a spokesman says that the move is temporary and united nations is still committed to finding a political solution to that bloody civil war. the united nations now we are hearing about new fox report correspondent more sign today of how tough this remains for that opposition. >> on a military and political level, first the e founder and one the leaders of the free syrian army has been badly wounded in a car bomb attack. in fact, we are hearing that that gentleman right there has lost a leg. that a major blow to the free syria army. then on the political front, the leader of the syrian national coalition has resigned. citing differences with other senior figures within the opp
. >>> and now syria. the assad regime and rebel forces are accusing one another of using chemical weapons. syrian state media reported that rebel forces launched a chemical attack killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100 people. rebels deny that charge vehemently and accuse regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. our senior international reporter is in amman, jordan, this morning. i know there are a lot of questions to substantiating the claims. what do we know so far? >> reporter: most of the information is coming from syrian state tv. and that's claiming that at least 25 people were killed in some kind of an attack in a village. scores of people wounded. and then syrian state tv playing interviews with some of the alleged victims who were saying that they smelled chlorine and almost all aping the same message, is this the freedom that the free syrian army rebels want? so some of those statements do come out to be a little suspect. neither side has been entirely truthful when it comes to the information and media war over syria. now very qui
issue by president obama who warned syria's dictator bashar al-assad that he should not cross that line. bill: the white house has been briefed and the white house has to make some decisions in this. i think the days are becoming more desperate and the regime is more desperate and we know where the chemical weapons are, end quote. peter doocy leads the coverage in washington. how certain are the lawmakers that chemical weapons have been used, peter? >> reporter: not 100% certain, bill but senator feinstein says lawmakers have seen the same intelligence the white house has seen. mike rogers the chairman of the house intelligence committee said in an interview about syria i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used w we need the final verification. i, mike rogers, chairman. intelligence committee would come to the conclusion they are either positioned for use or ready to do that or in fact have been used. if a final verification about chemical weapons use is made, congressman rogers says the united states is morally obligated to take out syria's weapons delivery s
about whether a cornered al assad might hit jerusalem or israel. it was dramatic and it made me wonder if we missed something. i wonder what you're sense of where we are on this matter today is. >> reporter: well, it still is confusing. there are reports all over the map. prime minister netanyahu's intelligence minister today telling army radio that there are suggestions to him that chemical weapons in fact were used by the syrian government. but there was a hearing on capitol hill where in fact there were lawmakers kicking it around and the u.s. embassador to syria said we don't know this as a fact yet. it needs to be investigated. the embassador echoed what president obama said. another key republican, mike rogers, the house intelligence chairman, was on cbs news this morning and said he thinks, it appears to him, chemical weapons were used but he's a former fbi official who wants to see forensic evidence. that's important for a republican lawmaker to underline saying we need evidence before we say chemical weapons were used. >> ed henry on a historic day in jerusalem. we look forwar
. president obama says he's skeptical assad used chemical weapons. >> we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons guess against the syrian people would be a mistake. >> by the way, netanyahu agrees with president obama on syria conservatives tried to use our relationship with israel to grab votes. they accused president obama of not getting it. and some called him the most antiisrael president in history. bb set the record straight. >> i want to thank you for the investment you've made in our relationship and strengthening the alliance between our countries. the president has reaffirmed more than any other president, israel's right and duty to defend itself against any threat. so it's a pro found honer to host you, the leader of the free world, at this historic time in our ancient capital. welcome to israel. >> let's turn to policy analyst for the center for american progress. let me start with you. we see these conciliatory gestures being offered by prime minister netanyahu, but that's different than the lecture he gave to obama in his own digs in the white house. what accoun
anything else in syria. >> in syria, you think it's time? >> the day after assad leaves, the biggest fear is where do the chemical weapons go? remember what happened in libya? all of these weapons are in the middle east. when assad falls we need an international coalition and we'll be part of it to secure the ten or 12 weapons sites that have the weapons. if we don't control those chemical weapons we'll be in real trouble down the road. >> the countries, many have war fatigue. >> yes. >> when you raise the thoughts of boots on the ground in syria, most people chills go up their spine. >> i totally get it. here is what i hope we're not tired of, defending ourselves against weapons of mass destruction. and the question for the american people at large, who gets the weapons when assad falls, radical islamists or control them so we make sure they're not in the bad guy's in general. i'm sorry the war is going on so long and the i want the people at large to say we're war weary, but trust me if we let the weapons get into the iran or islamist hands. it has to be a footprints-- >> and what about
the forum to deliver another stern warning to the assad regime in syria next door. >> we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching, we will hold you accountable. >> and he was cheered for his commitment on iran. >> america will do what we must to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. >> earlier in the west bank, president obama met with the palestinian president, mahmoud abbas. only hours after a stark reminder of the region's dangers as militants in gaza fired several rockets into southern israel. in ramallah today, the president also reversed course, no longer demanding that israel freeze settlements before peace talks resume on borders and israeli security. >> and that's not to say settlements are not important, it is to say that if we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved. so i don't want to put the cart before the horse. >> and "meet the press," why is our own chuck todd pushing his luck with the president? >> chuck, you're just incorrigible. >> we'll have more on that
are being used in syria by the assad regime or by rebel groups? what do you think? >> i don't know but chairman rogers, highly respected chairman of the intelligence committee has access to information that very select leaders have in this country. so when he is drawing a conclusion it is likely it is probable, i think we have to take him at his word. i believe also before our government would take any action, they would have to actually confirm that chemical weapons were used. heather: you know syrian president assad, he released some pictures, he released some video. i have, i believe we have some of that, that he says proves that rebel forces used chemical weapons on this attack. he alleges it happened on march 19th in aleppo. just from you viewing this video, taking a look at these pictures, can you yourself tell, i mean, you can't tell if chemical weapons were in fact used here but president assad says this is proof. >> well certainly doctors after a period of time would be able to determine that to be sure. whether we could get accurate information from assad's medical system
before assad goes. jessica yellin is live from amman, jordan where that press conference just wrapped. jessica, the president said assad would go but sounded perhaps a little annoyed about being asked how that might happen. why was he seemingly annoyed? >> well, jake, we counted and this is the sixth time that the president or a member of his administration has said assad must go just in the last month alone. but none of them has laid out a plan or a path for direct action by the united states to help remove assad from power. without any direct military intervention by the u.s. the president knows he is vulnerable to criticism. that he is standing by while a massacre is taking place and that is a particularly sharp and poignant charge when he is standing here in jordan where they are providing refuge to some 7,000 syrians who are fleeing for safety every day. some 7,000 people crossing the border into jordan from syria each day because of the violence there. >> i believe the king abdullah of jordan said that the settlements of refugees now form something like the fifth largest town in
the ancient city of petra. ramp up criticism of syrian president bashar assad. >> ed henry is live this morning in amman jordan with the very latest. good morning, ed. >> good toe sue i goose, interesting. because as you know you have got syria on jordan's northern border. and there are hundreds of thousands of refugees spilled out because of that ongoing civil war. all that strife. the violence, president assad killing his own people. they are winding up here in jordan. many of them and there is a lot of pressure building. damaging his economy big time pressure on president obama at home all around the world to intervene in some way. carl levin saying saying there should be some kind of surgical air strike. maybe the president should help set up a no-fly zone around syria to pressure assad. the bottom line is the president at a news conference here yesterday said he feels like it's a situation where is he damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. take a listen. >> your question may be suggesting is why haven't we simply gone in militarily? and, you know, i think it's fair to say th
join the effort of others to arm the opposition? how long will assad stay in power? that changes on almost a day-to-day basis because the situation is so uncertain as it enters the third year. the president is a bit defensive because people ask where was the world's biggest super power? you are supposed to be the voice of humanitarian needs around the world. how could you let this go on so long? why haven't you done more? the president said today at the news conference the united states from the start was calling on assad to step down and we know if you look at the calendar it is simply not true. many other countries were ahead of the united states in calling for assad to step down but it's a tough one for the president. he is right in the sense the united states used military force in this region from the beginning, there is still a big hangover from the iraq war in this part of the world. it would have been controversial. all the choices are difficult. he does get a bit defensive when that question is posed, wolf. >> he certainly does at least that is the impression you get fro
the chemical weapons and if they did, that would suggest the assad stockpile has fallen into their hands. the regime is saying the rebels did have it, but the assad regime are the ones with the large chemical stockpile. once again no definitive proof they were used at all, but a serious development. >> one that the president had spoken about hypothetically back in august when he used the words red line. here he was in august. >> we have been very clear to the assad regime, but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. that would change my calculus. >> so if the reports are true and i know you're careful not to say that we -- we don't know at this point in time. if they are, how might the international community act in response? >> reporter: it's very unlikely you would see u.s. or western military boots on the ground. what we have seen a move towards in the last few months is suggestion of arming the rebels. john kerry saying just yesterday he wouldn't say in the way if the uk and franc
's a long standing syria through the decline or democrat myself of the assad regime, which i think is inevitable, will be a serious blow to iran. >> so if you have washington, sir, on one side of the scale and tehran on the other, who does baghdad more closely align with? >> well, our hope is, of course, that it will be a truly democratic regime which will be primarily loyal to the interests of the people in iraq and that their views will be consistent with others in supporting and strengthening democratic institutions. but as with many of the other countries in the middle east, there are a whole series of conflicting interests there and it will play out over a long period of time. but our interest is in democratic institutions, democratic societies who will serve their people and not be so much interested in the kinds of conflicts that have raged for so long in that region. >> you mentioned your hopes are for the inevitable assad regime there in syria. but today one of the national coalition, the head of that resigned. he was the key u.s. ally among the rebels. how big of a blow i
was an outspoken supporter of assad. >>> a major shut down has been confirmed for the third largest school district in the nation. chicago mayor rahm emanuel i announced thursday the city will plan 54 schools which is 8% of the district. the mayor called the closings a tough but necessary choice citing many half empty public school buildings. opponents who turned out to protest said the closures will endanger students in troubled areas who may have to cross gang boundaries to attend classes. they think the closures will save millions. >>> gun legislation set to hit the senate floor next month will include universal background checks. this according to harry reid who introduced the bill last night. he's vowing that any bill that passes the senate must include background checks. the most contentious part of the measure. reid promised votes on a proposed assault weapons ban and limits on high capacity magazines. the legislation aims to make gun trafficking a federal crime and strengthen safety measures at schools. yesterday john lennon was thrust into the gun debate. his widow drew attention to the ca
are saying that the more desperate bashar al assad becomes, the more dangerous he also becomes. >> we've been very clear about our concerns that the assad regime is increasingly beleaguered, that it finds that the violence that it is using by conventional means is inadequate, including its barbaric use of scuds so we are quite concerned that they will resort to other weapons. we've made clear that this would constitute a red line for the united states. the president could not have been clearer about it. >> there are no plans right now to put any boots on the ground. but last year, the pentagon did do a report analyzing what it would take to secure those chemical weapons. they concluded it may take up to 70,000 troops on the ground. >> all right, chris lawrence at the pentagon, thanks. in just a few minutes we're going to talk to israeli government spokesman mark regev about the latest in syria and the president's trip to israel. >>> a disturbing story from colorado. zoraida sambolin has that. >> this just in to cnn the executive director of colorado's corrections department shot and killed la
've seen middle east dictators show no hesitation to use these chemical agents before. assad's own father used them. 40,000 syrians killed in hama. saddam hussein didn't hesitate to use chemical weapons against his own people and the iranian people. we know there is pattern in the middle east. the question is whether or not it actually happened here. when president obama talks about the red line being crossed, use of chemical agents if in fact that is proven would be the red line and i would believe provoke u.s. military intervention. bill: doug, what do you think?. >> i couldn't agree with monica more. let's be clear. this is the interest of the united states and our only stable democratic ally in the region, israel. israelis said, two ministers said yesterday they have definitive evidence that chemical weapons have been used in aleppo. i think we need to prepare for the likelihood we will have to intervene militarily on the side of the coalition to end this. bill: senator feinstein two days ago said we need to be prepared for dark days and she was in a highly classified meeting along wi
spirited discussion on the subject of the over flights. anything that supports president assad is problematic and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the over flights in iran are, in fact, helping to sustain president assad and his regi regime. >> customer reported he left the meeting without reaching an agreement with maliki. those oppose to assad's government is trying to maintain a coalition after the backed opposition resigned. with the help of the cia, arab nations in turkey have sharply stepped up aid to the rebels. there is a troublesome straight line from afghanistan, where the secretary of state is this morning, through iran, through iraq, and into syria. >> i think the people who also have noticed this are the afghan leadersh leadership. so it's interesting. you have secretary hagel who does a visit. secretary kerry now doing the visit. the president hasn't been to afghanistan in a year now and other things taking his attention in the region whether iran and rising tensions with syria and economic challenges in jordan, et cetera. they are watching this stu
important >> the u.s. ambassador to syria also discuss the allegations that the assad regime used chemical weapons. here is part of his testimony ao a house foreign affairs committee hearing. >> so far, we have no evidence to substantiate the reports that chemical weapons were used yesterday.emic but i want to underline that we are looking very carefullyea atd these reports. we are consulting with partners in the region and in the international community. more broadly, we have been very clear from the beginning about our concern that as the assad regime's military situation deteriorates and it becomes asrs the director of national intelligence said, it becomes ever more beleaguered, that it might be tempted to use chemicav weapons m. the president has been very clear in saying that if assad and those under his command makn the mistake of using chemical weaponsen or if they fail to met their obligation to secure them, then there will be consequenceso and they will be heldcu accountable.re >> what with those consequences be ? accountable. >> what would those consequences be, ambassador? >> m
in syria. we're all talking about the emphasis is on helping the resistance against president assad reach victory. obama keeps saying it's not matter of if but when president assad leaves. that's not really so sure. looking at the what's happening on the ground, the breakup of syria is more likely rather than a clear victory of one side winning or losing and president assad leaving the country altogether. so it's really a matter of the next step. what happens after whatever happens in syria. the threat is to the region. the countries on the borders of syria. turkey has its problems. jordan could well have its problems very soon. lebanon. so it's a very -- it's a situation that's very volatile. syria has been imploding and the fear, of course, is that it will explode. america's options -- what it needs to do is help the region formulate some kind of way of dealing with the problem inside syria. american troops on the ground very unlikely, but, of course, there are already special forces, american special forces, british special forces, and i believe french special forces inside jordan trai
at this point. malaki's focus is not having a regime in syria. our focus is not allowing assad to continue to exist. >> that's right. the shia regime doesn't want to see a sunni regime in syria. iran wants to maintain assad's power and iran is shipping weapons through iraq to syria. many people say it's those weapons and a lot of the training coming from iran that is propping up the aassad regime in syria. if we can cut that off, we might be able to cut off the weapons propping up in the assad regime. we can't get those flights to land, be inspected. if jordan has intelligence there's weapons on those flights we can't cut it off. it is a damned shame because we spent all that time, blood in iraq, we should have that type of relationship where we can stop that. instead we can't. >>brian: secretary of state condoleezza told us here that status agreement was written to be renegotiation before it was up. if that was renegotiated successfully we would have had presence in the region and you could argue there would not be the intertribal strife they're witnessing right now. therefore, we would h
by president assad. fortunately the syrian nuclear capacity was destroyed but unfortunately thousands of chemical weapons remain. we can not allow those weapons to fall in the terrorists hands. itco lead to an epic tragedy. there's an attempt to bring spring to the arab world. it is an arab choice. it is an arab initiative. it may bring peace to the region, freedom to the people, economic progress to arab states. if realized it can lead to a better tomorrow. we pray it will become a reality. the vision between skeptics and those who believe in peace. your voice will encourage belief. you came -- you came to us with the clear message that no one should let skepticism win the day. a vision that says clearly that peace is not only a wish but a possibility. i fully support your call. there is no other way to make the future better. there is no better leader to make it possible. your visit is an historic step in that direction. we shall share the journey with you all the way. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, thank you, president peres, for your very generous words and your warm welco
. the fact that hezbollah has allied the assad regime has stockpiles of chemical weapons only heightens the urgency. we will continue to cooperate closely to guard against that danger. i've made it clear to bashar al assad and all who follow his orders, we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the syrian people or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists. the world is watching. we will hold you accountable. the syrian people have the right to be freed from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill his own people than relinquish power. assad must go, so that syria's future can begin. because true stability in syria depends upon establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders, while making peace with countries beyond them. these are the things i think about when i think about israel's security. when i consider israel's security, i also think about a people who have a living memory of the holocaust, faced with the prospect of a nuclear-armed iranian government who has called for israel's destruction. it
the facts straight, but it points in the direction of some chemical weapons used. was it the assad regime or the opposition? >> and this is a huge difference if it's chemical weapons. so where do we go from there? president obama that's the red line that can'ti be passed. red lines come and go with this administration and i think that's part of the problem. i think we have to come back to what the basic american interest is here and that makes sure that no chemical weapons get outside of syria into the hands of terrorists. what that may mean if they're now in fact in use, we are going to have to take some steps to destroy weapons in stock piles in arsenals in syria. what we need to protect against is that we don't end up destroying whatever is left of assad's command and control structure in a way that actually sti actual actually facilitates the opposition. and i think the risk of the weapons exiting syria is high enough that we will have to look at using force right now. not against-- not on one side or the other in the hostilities, but to destroy the chemical weapons. >> greta: ambassa
massacre of the same people by president assad. fortunately, the syrian nuclear capacity was destroyed. but unfortunately, thousands of chemical weapons remain. we cann we cannot allow those weapons to fall in the terrorists' hands. it could lead to an epic tragedy. in an attempt to spring to the arab world, it is an arab choice, it is an arab initiative. it may bring peace to the region, freedom to the people, economic growth to the arab states. eventually, it can lead to a better tomorrow. we pray it will become a reality. i believe the real division is between skeptics and those who believe in peace. your voice will encourage, i believe. you came to us with the clear message that no one should let skepticism win the day. a vision that says clearly that peace is not only a wish, but a possibility. i fully support your call. there is no other way to make the fooch better. there is no better leader to make it possible. your visit is an historic step in that direction. we shall journey with you all the way. thank you. >> thank you so much. well, thank you, president peres, for your very
deny allowing the transfer of weapons through iraqi air space to president al assad's regime. >>> if you haven't heard the news yet, the winning powerball ticket for $338 million was sold in new jersey. sadly not here in atlanta. the winning numbers are 17, 29, 31, 52, 53. p powerball number is 31. the largest powerball jackpot in history was back in november. it was worth close to $588 million. >>> it is officially spring. may favorite season. birds, flowers, and great outdoors finally shakes off its winter coat. let me show you some glorious pring d spring days around the country just today. isn't that beautiful? kansas city, missouri. didn't get the memo that spring officially arrived four days ago. three to nine inches of snow. knocked out power to 5,000 homes today. atlanta, powerful thunderstorms. all night long. pushed over huge trees on to houses and cars. fell much colder than normal. water is rising all over the atlanta area. flood warnings in some places. and this is colorado. all around denver today. single digit temperatures and snow that shut down parts of both
perspective they believe assad has months, perhaps to survive in power and they're very worried in israel about what comes next because they have the experience of what happened recently in egypt. but it is iran the top focus especially for the israeli prime minister. president obama has said recently he wants to give more chance for diplomacy, he thinks there's several more months of an opening to try to have a diplomatic solution. the israeli president told me yesterday he's fully convinced no doubts president obama would use military force if necessary if dmoems failed and iran was at the point of having a nuclear warhead. the question on this trip is to see whether prime minister netanyahu who raised doubts about the president in the past shares president perez's conviction that there's no room, no space between israel and washington on that question. >> john, i think there's very little chance we'll see president obama and prime minister netanyahu playing basketball together or something. it's always been a traditionally frosty relationship. i suppose it's a lot of fence mending goin
constructive steps as it relates to what happens after assad leaves and we're certainly hoping for that day to be upon us. >> senator, bob casey, thank you so much. it's good to see you. >> thanks, chris. >>> we were watching -- it was a ceremonial tree planting ceremony. but in the meantime, ambassador, let me ask you a little bit more about syria. and we heard both president obama and netanyahu reference the changing region. let me ask you about your -- your thoughts on arming the rebels. should we or what might happen to get us to that point. what do you imagine these conversations over syria are going to be like? >> this creeping incrementalism that we have engaged in over syria is for all intents and purposes is not going to really change the equation on the ground. we have so marginalized ourselves with respect to the events on the ground in syria. the rule and reason that the united states could comply is more or less dissipated. most are furious at the united states for not doing enough, depending on which side you talk to and which group you can wind up talking to. and so this deba
. >> reporter: it does not appear that the chemical in question was one of those most feared in president assad's arsenal. mustard gas or the deadly nerve agent, vx, and sarin. president obama said he was deeply skeptical that it was the rebels who carried out this attack. despite fears of chemical weapons being used in syria, the president said chemical weapons or not, the united states would not take military action in syria by itself. >> thank you, alex. >>> now we return back home to a new number confirming a worry in american families. tonight, one in 50 schoolchildren in america has a form of autism. the government survey is much higher than the previous estimate, 1 in 88. so what is happening? and also tonight, another small part of the puzzle. does it have anything to do with parents and grandfathers? abc's chief medical editor, dr. richard besser, on the clues. >> reporter: and now another clue into a possible cause of autism -- grandfather's age. researchers in sweden have found that the older a grandfather was when he had children, the more likely those children would be to have chil
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